Published in Haiti’s Le Nouvelliste January 20, 2012 and translated into English:
Haiti: The Saint-Damien Pediatric Hospital launches two new services
While many institutions of the country celebrated the second anniversary of the earthquake of January 12, 2010, Our Little Brothers and Sisters (NPFS) inaugurated last Thursday, maternity and neonatal unit of St. Damien Pediatric Hospital in Tabarre . The management of the St. Damien children’s hospital took the celebration of the second anniversary of the earthquake of January 12, 2010 to inaugurate on Thursday, maternity services and neonatology. In these new structures arranged in an attractive space, Our Little Brothers and Sisters (NPFS) intend to give a new signal in the various activities leading to the rebirth of the country.
Maternity has 42 beds, two new operating rooms, five delivery beds and employs 53 people under the leadership of Dr. John Edgar Aupont, program manager for high-risk pregnancy. Aupont says, fewer than 15 babies are born every day safely in this hospital where the care is completely free. 500 deliveries are made each month. This center has become the benchmark for excellence and for the high-risk pregnancy in Haiti. All furniture and equipment were imported from Italy. Staff training is provided by teams of doctors and midwives from particular Buzzi Children’s Hospital University of Milan, Italy. According to Dr. Aupont, neonatology is a unique medical branch in the country with 32 beds in intensive care, which deals each month with 50 premature infants with neonatal diseases, treated by 20 doctors and nurses.
The neonatal unit is paired with pediatric hospitals Dal Ponte Hospital, Varese and Bambino Gesù in Rome. Father Richard Frechette, in his speech for the occasion, welcomed the cooperation that existed between the Department of Public Health and other partners. A partnership that has enabled the realization of that dream. In addition to the maternity hospital St. Damien, with the support of the Fondazione Francesca Rava, has created two other maternity facilities in the region, receiving 23,000 visits per year, and offer direct assistance to the field: the clinic Manitaine in Tabarre, where laboratory tests are performed and visits of obstetrics and prenatal ultrasound performed, and the mother-child center Timoun Piti in the area of Wharf Jeremie. All patients who need special assistance were sent to the hospital Saint-Damien.
“Our centers are very well equipped (latest technology) and are paired with Italian institutes for the training of doctors, midwives and nurses in Haiti. They are already considered a landmark in Haiti for qualified assistance to pregnant women and their babies, “adds Father Frechette.
In her speech, Genevieve Arty, medical director of the hospital, said to the attention of the guests the presence of any management team at the opening ceremony. For her, this reflects the size of the view that NPFS bring to the community of Tabarre and other parts of metropolitan Port-au-Prince. “This act of medical care allows us to meet the needs of the population of Tabarre. We celebrate life with the opening of these new structures, “said Dr. Arty, who emphasized the modernist of these new services.
For its part, the representative of the Ministry of Health estimates that each time a hospital structure is formed, it is a response to the problem of suffering at the community level. “We welcome a very high point of activity that takes place in this hospital. I understand that there is a skill and dynamic that lends its service to the hospital. The center will remain in our field of vision. We will work to increase the capacity of the hospital structure for the good of this community, “she added.
Ultrasound is not included in the training and practice of gynecologists and obstetricians in Haiti, even thought it is a technique of great help for early diagnosis of fetal malformations and diseases of pregnancy and for assistance during childbirth. Thus, this advanced training, organized by the Fondazione Francesca Rava – NPH Italia with the prestigious International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG), took place from January 9 to 13 at the NPFS pediatric hospital of St. Damien in Tabarre. This is the second phase of a program in 18 months, will allow the introduction of ultrasound technology in training and practice of 30 Haitian doctors and midwives at St. Damien, other health facilities in the country and of the Hospital of the State University of Haiti. At the end of the course, the same participants, members of the Haitian Suoga, become trainers themselves. Teachers and trainers are among the best specialists in the United States and Italy, and are Dr. Lisbeth Hanson, Head of Mission and Professor Enrico Ferrazzi’s Buzzi Hospital in Milan (Dr. Ferrazzi is also the Clinical Advisor and Coordinator Project maternity NPH), and Dr. Jean Claude Fouron.
Opened in 2006, St. Damien Hospital in Tabarre is the only pediatric hospital in Haiti. Both maternity and neonatology rooms opened during the earthquake efforts and were fitted over the last two years to achieve excellence in clinical expertise and highly specialized staff, in order to save thousands of children and their mothers with assistance quality offered by qualified personnel in Haiti. According to officials, St. Damien is the first pediatric hospital in Haiti. In 2011, it provided free care to 80,000 children whose medical needs could not be met elsewhere in the country. Following an Italian project and thanks to the decisive contribution of the Fondazione Francesca Rava, it provided assistance in emergency earthquake in more than 10,000 people in less than three weeks, 150 medical volunteers have come Italy in the range of 6 months. NPH is present in Haiti since 1987 under the medical direction of Father Rick Frechette. In collaboration with the Fondation Saint-Luc, it gives work to 1,600 Haitians and helping 1 million people a year with its four hospitals, including St. Luke’s Hospital for families, St. Philomena for cholera, two centers for disabled children, two native plants, three orphanages, including 2 homes built after the earthquake, 28 School Street, the training center Francisville, to name a few.